White House Summit on Quantum Technology

  • By Jenny Stein
  • 3 June 2019

The White House held a summit to discuss the urgent need to collaborate to advance the country’s prowess in quantum information science. Among the academics and government officials, Pitt Senior Vice Chancellor for research Rob Rutenbar was in attendance, representing the interests of the Pittsburgh scientific community.

The current administration has pushed for progress in quantum computing by establishing a National Quantum Initiative that authorizes $1.2 billion over the next five years for quantum-related activities. “It’s critical that we win in the industries of the future, of which quantum is clearly one,” said Chris Liddell, assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy coordination. He added that investment in quantum information science is one area in which there is “true bipartisan support.”

Parallel to the PQI mission statement to unify and promote researchers, the White House summit emphasized the need to bring together scientists to share advanced resources, making high-strength quantum hubs complementary versus competitive, and expose more students to the emerging field of quantum technology, particularly from smaller institutions.

Looking ahead, government funding will be necessary to help foster certain aspects of the quantum computing industry, such as supply chain components, said Shaun Maguire, partner at GV, formerly known as Google Ventures. The success of quantum computing partly depends on a healthy and well-funded supply chain of critical infrastructure components, he said. Large companies as well as startups are investing heavily in developing a commercial-grade quantum computer that will add meaningful business value and competitive advantage. The timeline for when that will happen is up for debate, though Mr. Maguire is optimistic because he has seen a steady rate of progress in the field.

As an active center for collaborative research under the quantum science umbrella, PQI has a strong advantage to address these calls for competitive and broad-reaching scientific advancements. Keep an eye on upcoming deadlines for funding announcements! 

Read more here. Written by Sara Castellanos